Eat plenty of spinach (full of beta carotene), citrus (for vitamin C), nuts (for vitamin E) and lean beef (for zinc) now. An organic diet consisting of such food items can reduce the risk of vision loss by 35 percent for people between 70 and 85 years of age, as per a new study in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Foods brimming with the kind of antioxidants mentioned above help fight an age-related eye disease called macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in older people. Antioxidants counter the effects of oxidation on the tissues and structure of the eyes. The body attempts to counter the effects of oxidation by producing and using antioxidants such as are found in Vitamins.
The following Vitamins have been found to improve, protect and support eye health;
Vitamin C found in fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, strawberries, rosehip and broccoli, reduces pressure in the Glaucoma, slowing deterioration in macular degeneration, and reducing the risk of cataracts.
Vitamin A found in carrots, sweet potatoes, and liver may reduce risk of cataracts, and night blindness. Its deficiency might cause blindness, and corneal ulcers.
Vitamin E found in many nuts, such as almonds and hazelnuts, uses its antioxidant properties to reduce the risk for macular degeneration and cataracts.
Besides vitamins; Minerals play a vital role in maintaining and improving eyesight. Minerals are inorganic compounds (Carbon free) that actually metabolize vitamins in the body. They help maintain flow of information (electricity) necessary for every element.
Some minerals and compounds believed to be crucial to the health of eyes are: Zinc (found in red meat, wheat, oysters); Selenium (seafood, yeast and nuts); Lutein (spinach and collard green – reduces dry eyes); Bioflavonoids (citrus fruits, bilberry, and strawberries – improve night vision); Carotenoids pigment (red, orange and yellow fruits and plants, leafy green vegetables – prevents macular degeneration and cataracts)
Ideally all the above mentioned nutrients should be present in normally available food. But that’s not the case because modern farming practices – read pesticides and fertilizers – and the depletion of nutrients in the soil has resulted in fruits and vegetables not so rich in vitamins and minerals. Hence, the need for food supplements and ‘organic food’.
But not everyone can have organic food; for lack of money or for lack of access, so a Vitamin Supplement is a good option to get those missing nutrients and avoid potentially dangerous diseases such as macular degeneration.
1. Bilberry – Bilberry is a herb used for both gastrointestinal and eye health. It contains active ingredients called Anthocyanidin Bioflavonoids, which are are antioxidants that help improve the flow of blood through the capillaries in eyes. It’s also used to treat diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration.
2. Grapeseed – Grapeseed improves the peripheral circulation in our eyes, and also strengthens the capillaries.
3. Eyebright – Eyebright makes a great eye home remedy. It’s great for sore eyes, and has an anti-inflammatory and soothing action.
4. Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Research from Harvard Medical School has found that taking Omega-3 oils reduces the chance of getting dry eyes. Try taking 3 to 6 grams of a good quality fish oil supplement daily.
Now Food Supplements packed with all the above nutrients are readily available. They do help, but it is important to note that care should be taken while determining the appropriate quantities. If health concerns are a factor, consulting a dietitian or physician may be prudent.